I woke up and lazily rubbed the back of my palms on my
heavily-loaded-with-sleep eyes, as if that would make
the sleepiness that I felt to go away, and heaved my
heavy bulk out of my six-inch King-sized bed.
Suddenly,I felt a surge of excitement run through me and
I remembered why. it was my birthday, and not just any
birthday, but my eighteenth birthday, which though just
a number, is considered to be the age which someone
was considered to be an adult and not a child anymore,
once reached. I quickly grabbed a sheet of paper and a
own and started scribbling on it hastily. Just then I
heard my mum call me.
‘Yes mum! I’m in my room’ I answered, and quickened
my speed so as to finish what I was doing before she
reached my room. I knew she was calling me for
something good. if she had called me my normal name;
‘Bishop’, then I would have known that I had done
something wrong, or that she was just sober and had
nothing special for me. she reached my room just as I
finished what I was scribbling and hid it.
‘Come let’s go downstairs, today is your day’ she said
and smiled so much that I was afraid her mouth would
‘Yes mum’ I answered and smiled back.
We headed downstairs and I noticed that the sun was
already out from the east and had just started it’s daily
journey to the west. Something then struck me. I
normally woke up early, latest 7:00 am, but the time was
almost 10:00am when i woke up. This worry I spelt out
to my mum and she gave me an explanation almost
‘I’m sorry dear,I gave you sleeping pills yesterday to
make you sleep and give us enough time to prepare for
your birthday. I accepted the explanation without qualms
as it came to my head that she would never do anything
hurt me. I hugged her and we continued down the stairs,
and I tried as much as I could to hide my excitement
piloted by just one thing, the paper I had in hand.
We reached the drawing room(parlour) and I was
suprised at what I saw. A very big 3-step cake decorated
with my favourite colour – green, and various drinks, on
the neatly decorated table. Of all, the last thing my
searching eyes saw on the table made me gasp; a key, a
car key, and I hid the excitement and decided to wait for
my parents to present it officially. I moved closer to my
mum and whispered to her:
‘ you did not tell me you planned a party, let me go up
and dress’ within five minutes I was down again,
dressed in my latest suit, that resembled a tuxedo. Just
then, the door burst open and people started trooping
in; my classmates, lesson mates, home friends, friends
of friends, and relatives. Within seconds, thr normal
‘Happy Birthday To You’- song started and they all sang
the song, both melodious voices and cracked ones.
Suddenly, I felt as if someone was missing. Yes, I
scanned the room but didn’t see her – Ngozi- my
girlfriend. She didn’t come. No wonder I didn’t hear her
voice when the song was sang- she had a melodious
voice. Well, she wouldn’t have even come, and I wasn’t
supposed to be expecting her. My mum noticed my
change of mood. As a Psychologist you couldn’t put up
a certain behaviour and get away with it without her
knowing. Name it: sarcastic remarks, facial expressions,
gestures, voice pitch and so on. As the son of the same
psychologist, I had learnt too so I gave her a “don’t
worry, there is no problem” look.
The rest of the party went well and after the party, my
parents told me to make a wish for my birthday. I quickly
and happily pulled out the sheet of paper and started to
read the contents;
‘Dad and Mum, today is my birthday, my eighteenth
birthday, and I have some wishes to make. They are:
1. That I noe have the right to own a driver’s license, so
I would start learning how to ride a car.
2. That I am now an adult who can take care of himself
so I would be allowed to go out and come in when I
3. That nobody should question my actions anymore.
4. That nobody should enter my room without prior
permission from me to do so.
5. That i now have the right to vote and be voted for.’
As I finished the letter, I looked to see my dad smiling
knowingly at me. Maybe he would consider my request.
Waiting to see their reactions, I heard my mum say;
‘ I’m sorry son, but do you think you are in America or
something? Sorry to disappoint you, buy you are in
I was shocked as her words pierced through my ears and
made imprints on my brain.
‘Who is the car key for?’ I asked, motioning to the car
key on the decorated table?
‘Oh! That’s mine, I got a new car.’ My dad blurted out.
I turned and made to go upstairs but my dad called me
‘Bishop( I was now called ‘Bishop’ because something
serious had come up), you are not the only one who has
made some list, I made mind too.’ Saying this, he
handed over the list to me and as I made to collect it, he
lingered on in it before finally letting go. He waved me
upstairs and I rushed upstairs, closed the door and with
a heart pounding away, opened the list.
Now that you are eighteen years,
1. You will not procure any driver’s license, and you will
not learn how to ride a car, not until you are thirty years.
( Before you go and ram my car for me)
2. Your going out and coming in will be monitored
closely and you have to be back to this house before
6:00pm daily, lest I roast you alive.
3. You have not overgrown beating and if you think you
are now a man and try to misbehave, I will show you
that I passed that your stage of eighteen years thirty-
five years ago. I will also prove to you that I was into
boxing but quit before I married your mother.
4. Your room should not be locked for any reason at all,
and the CCTV above you MUST not be touched or
tampered with. If that happens, you will go and learn
how to become a roadside mechanic.
5. I said you have a wish to make and you made 5
wishes. Well only one wish I shall grant; YOU HAVE THE
RIGHT TO VOTE AND BE VOTED FOR. In Nigeria, you are
not an adult until you are thirty years.
stared at me right into my face. Trickles of sweat found
their way to the floor as I looked up to find the CCTV
directly above me. I also remembered the sleeping pills.
Smiling, I guessed what had happened and said to my
self; that’s Nigeria for you, ADULTHOOD NO BE BEANS.
I woke up and lazily rubbed the back of my palms on my